2020-21 Catalog

College of Health

Dean’s Office STaff:

Whitney P. Witt, Inaugural Dean
Halcyon G. Skinner, Associate Dean
Sherry L. Buss, Director of Administration
Jeanne E. Kassis, Executive Assistant

Contact information:

STEPS Building (temporary location)
1 West Packer Avenue
Bethlehem, PA 18018
610.758.1800  |  incoh@lehigh.edu
website: health.lehigh.edu
social: LehighUhealth


Mission and Goals

The mission of the College of Health at Lehigh University is to understand, preserve, and improve the health and well-being of populations and communities through excellence and innovation in education, research, and service.  This mission includes constant innovation to connect all of our activities to make the greatest impact on improving population health outcomes.

The goals of the College of Health focus on three areas: education; research and scholarship; and service and partnerships. The pursuit of these goals creates an integrated and continuous cycle of learning, research, and impact for the faculty, staff, students, and external partners of the College. Through this approach we constantly innovate and link our activities together to make the greatest impact on population health outcomes.  

Education
Leveraging the university’s interdisciplinary strengths and global perspectives, the College offers a rigorous classroom and online curriculum, as well as out-of-the-classroom experiences, to equip students with the skills they need to take advantage of the myriad of opportunities after graduation.

Research
Through creative inquiry and the design and adoption of health technology, the College is advancing research in population health. State-of-the-art resources such as data visualization, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality labs are available to faculty, students, and partners as they conduct cutting-edge research and projects. 

Service
Improving the lives of communities (locally and globally) is at the heart of the College of Health’s efforts in preparing the next generation of population health leaders. It is through service learning that theoretical concepts not only come to life but also have an impact on the health of millions around the world.

"If not you who? If not now, when?"

As of today, the globe and the human race in it are faced with unprecedented challenges.  We, as Population Health practitioners, have the choice to 1) do nothing; 2) contribute to worsening the issues; or 3) become an agent of improvement.   

The College of Health welcomes its first cohort of students in the Fall of 2020 and becomes Lehigh's 5th college and the nation’s first institution to offer an undergraduate degree and certificate programs in population health with a focus on health innovation and technology. The launch of the new College of Health comes at an exciting time in health and health care– one during which leaders in health care, academia, government, and industry are thinking more broadly about the concept of “health.”  The demand for professionals with expertise in population health and data science is growing at a pace that exceeds the supply of graduates.

The College of Health meets this demand by fostering students to find their identity and passion by working alongside faculty members to solve emerging and existing population health threats.  Building on Lehigh’s highly interdisciplinary academic culture, the College of Health integrates experiential engagement throughout the educational trajectory, with theory to practice, hands-on skills applying data science to advance human health.  In the College’s sophisticated artificial intelligence and data visualization labs, students may work with faculty on cutting-edge activities such as using artificial intelligence to study autism, leveraging virtual reality to study implicit bias among health care providers, or the visualization of opioid addiction.

The educational and the research programs of the College focus on solving intractable population health challenges by engaging with traditional and nontraditional partners.  All the while, students are compelled to translate their knowledge into positively impacting the lives of people in their communities. The College of Health leverages a systems-based approach understanding the underlying determinants of health.  Such a cell-to-society view enables us to develop impactful solutions.

Undergraduate Programs

The College of Health offers a Bachelor of Science in Population Health as well as certificate programs in Population Health and Global Population Health.  The Bachelor of Science in Population Health degree requires 124 credit hours and prepares students to investigate the determinants of health using data science and identify novel and effective avenues for disease prevention, health promotion, diagnosis, and intervention.  The program combines courses in population health with foundation courses in mathematics, natural sciences, social sciences and computer science.  Students gain knowledge and skills through coursework, experiential learning opportunities, research projects and engagement with traditional and nontraditional partners in pursuit of a healthier world.   Certificate programs in Population Health (16-17 credits) and Global Population Health (14-16 credits) compliment undergraduate studies and prepare students to learn and apply introductory-level Population Health concepts and methodology.  
 
Many students who pursue a BS in Population Health or certificate programs in the College of Health plan to continue graduate-level work in a health-related discipline.  Pre-health students at Lehigh have the opportunity to major in any area, provided they also complete the prerequisite coursework set forth by the medical, dental, or other professional program in which they are interested.   Students interested in attending medical school or other health related school should contact the The Center for Career & Professional Development (careercenter@lehigh.edu) and ask to be enrolled in the Health Professions Advisory Committee Course Site. 
 

Graduate aND EXECUTIVE CERTIFICATION Programs

Beginning in the Fall of 2021, the College of Health will offer graduate programs including a Master of Science in Population Health (MSci), Master of Public Health (MPH), Doctor of Philosophy in Population Health (PhD) and a suite of undergraduate and graduate certificate programs.  Executive education programs will be tailored to the needs of working professionals.  In addition to onsite programs, graduate students and professionals can take courses and complete certificates and degrees online and through distance education programs.  
 

careers in population Health

As population health is a convergent science, career pathways within this field are extremely abundant and wide-ranging. Alumni from the College of Health may pursue careers in the private sector, nonprofit organizations, or local, state, federal and international governmental institutions, or go on to obtain graduate-level research or clinical training. They may work in fields including epidemiology, medicine, data science, biostatistics, global health, health economics, health policy, community health, health promotion, and health technology and innovation.

For students who are interested in attending a professional graduate school to pursue a career in healthcare, such as Medicine, Dentistry, and Pharmacy, the College of Health has mapped out the undergraduate program to ensure that students who are enrolled in the BS in Population Health are able to complete the pre-health requirements along with the BS in Population Health requirements within four years. Furthermore, students who pursue advanced clinical degrees after graduation will be well-equipped with the education, experience and skills to address specific population health challenges that exist within health care systems.

 
 
 
 
 

Professors. Christine Daley, PhD (University of Connecticut); Whitney P. Witt, PhD (Johns Hopkins University)

Associate Professors. Hyunok Choi, PhD (Columbia University); Eduardo Gomez, PhD (Brown University); Halcyon Gerald Skinner, PhD (Johns Hopkins University); Fathima Wakeel, PhD (University of California Merced)

Assistant Professors. Thomas McAndrew, PhD (University of Vermont)

Professors Of Practice. Sean Daley, PhD (University of Connecticut)

B.S. in population health

Lehigh University's Bachelor of Science in Population Health degree prepares students to investigate the determinants of health using data science, and to identify novel and effective avenues for disease prevention, health promotion, diagnosis, and intervention. The program combines courses in population health with foundational courses in mathematics, natural sciences, social sciences and computer science. Students gain knowledge and skills through coursework, experiential learning opportunities, research projects and engagement with traditional and nontraditional partners in pursuit of a healthier world.

The BS degree requires a minimum of 124 credits and provides students with a strong conceptual background in Population Health as well as extensive methodological expertise in data science and epidemiology.  All majors take POPH 001, an introduction to Population Health, plus core courses in Population Health Research Methods, History of Population Health, Biological Basis of Population Health, Population Health Data Science, and Epidemiology. They also complete a minimum of three 1-credit varying topics seminars in Population Health, in addition to 1-credit seminars in Research Ethics, Design Thinking and Writing about Science.  Students then pursue their individual interests by selecting an area of concentration that includes completing at least four electives, in consultation with their adviser; at least two of these courses are required to be at the 300-level or above. The population health capstone integration occurs in the required two-semester project (POPH 301 and POPH 302,) in which students plan, implement and evaluate a population health project.

Note:  A number of major courses have pre-requisites. Students considering this major should check pre-requisites and plan accordingly.  A preliminary meeting with an adviser may be useful.

Bachelor of Science in Population Health

Distribution Requirements
ENGL 001Critical Reading and Composition3
or ENGL 003 Composition and Literature I for International Writers
ENGL 002Research and Argument 13
or ENGL 005 Composition and Literature II for International Writers
Social Science Requirement (2 courses designated in the course catalog as SS) 26-8
Humanities Requirement (2 courses designated in the course catalog as HU) 36-8
Core Requirements
POPH 001Introduction to Population Health4
POPH 002Population Health Research Methods & Application4
POPH 101History of Population Health3
POPH 103Biological Basis of Population Health4
POPH 301Population Health Capstone (Proposal)4
POPH 302Population Health Capstone (Execution)4
BSTA 001Population Health Data Science I4
BSTA 101Population Health Data Science II4
BSTA 102Population Health Data Science III4
EPI 304Methods in Epidemiology I4
Seminars6
Students are required to complete a minimum of six 1-credit special topics seminars.
Seminar: Population Health 4
Seminar: Ethics in Population Health
Seminar: Writing about Science
Seminar: Design Thinking for Innovation in Health
Concentration
4 courses, a minimum of 12 credits chosen in consultation with an adviser, at least 2 courses must be at the 300 level or above. Areas of concentration may include Biostatics and Epidemiology, Health Innovation and Technology, Health Policy & Management, Social and Behavioral Health, Global Health, Environmental Health or Community Health. 12-16
Total Credits75-83

Plan of Study

The proposed plan of study grid allows flexibility for students to pursue certificate programs within the College of Health or majors and minors in one of Lehigh's other undergraduate colleges.  Students interested in pursuing an additional major/dual degree should talk with their adviser.  Students studying within the College of Health are encouraged to engage in international experiential learning through study abroad, internship or research experiences.  

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
POPH 0014POPH 0024
POPH 0121BSTA 0014
ENGL 001 or 0033ENGL 002 or 0053
 8 11
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
POPH 1013BSTA 1024
BSTA 1014POPH 1034
POPH 0101HIT 0101
SS or HU Elective3-4SS or HU Elective3-4
 11-12 12-13
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
EPI 3044POPH 3041
POPH 0101Concentration Elective3-4
Concentration Elective3-4SS or HU Elective3-4
 8-9 7-9
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
POPH 3014POPH 0101
Concentration Elective3-4POPH 3024
SS or HU Elective3-4Concentration Elective3-4
 10-12 8-9
Total Credits: 75-83

Under Construction

Biostatistics Courses

BSTA 001 Population Health Data Science I 4 Credits

This course teaches students the fundamentals of probability theory, univariate statistics, statistical computing/programming/visualization, and machine learning. A mix of traditional and experiential learning will focus on how to build an analysis pipeline to answer pressing questions in population health. In-class examples and projects will use real data sets. Students will propose a small data-driven project focused in population health, and use their newly-acquired data science skills to collect, analyze, and present their work.

BSTA 101 Population Health Data Science II 4 Credits

In this course students expand their statistics and machine learning toolkit by learning how to compare univariate distributions, build traditional regression models for continuous and binary data, explore supervised learning methods such as: Tree-based learning, KNN/Collaborative filtering, and Feed forward Neural networks, and understand how to manipulate, ask, and answer questions from big datasets. Students will be expected to propose a population health project mid-semester, and apply and present techniques they learned in class.
Prerequisites: BSTA 001

BSTA 102 Population Health Data Science III 4 Credits

In this course students are introduced to Bayesian statistics and computational techniques, ensemble learning (boosting, bagging, stacking), how to handle missing data, and how to build reproducible analysis pipelines via Makefiles. The statistical and machine learning techniques taught will be applied to a variety of real population health datasets; students will apply these techniques and submit a research-style manuscript. Students will investigate a current problem in population health and provide a data-drive solution.
Prerequisites: BSTA 101

BSTA 300 Apprentice Teaching 1-4 Credits

Repeat Status: Course may be repeated.

BSTA 402 Health Data and Computational Science 3 Credits

BSTA 403 Applications in Statistical Learning 3 Credits

Prerequisites: BSTA 402

BSTA 404 Data Architecture, Mining, and Linkage 3 Credits

Epidemiology Courses

EPI 304 Methods in Epidemiology I 4 Credits

Epidemiology is the field of scientific inquiry concerned with questions about the determinants of disease in the population. This course covers fundamental concepts of epidemiological thinking including study design and analytical methods to address confounding, bias, and effect modification. Students will be introduced to measures of disease frequency and association, sources of bias and how to address them, and concepts in causal inference. Case studies will address health concerns from infectious disease outbreaks to population health surveillance and disease prevention.

EPI 305 Methods in Epidemiology II 4 Credits

To investigate complicated questions in epidemiology, this second course offers a deeper, expanded view of concepts and methods for observational epidemiological studies. Topics include detailed coverage of clinical trials, cohort studies, case-control study variants and analytical methods. Includes the use of multivariable models to adjust for confounding effects and to estimate interaction effects, and applications of machine learning. Deeper concepts in causal inference are examined through the use of directed acyclic graphs.
Prerequisites: EPI 304 and BSTA 101

EPI 306 Lifecourse Epidemiology 4 Credits

This course provides students a foundation for understanding the terminology and theoretical framework used in life course epidemiology and family health services research; biobehavioral pathways by which early life experiences impact health across the life course; data sources, study designs, and statistical approaches used in lifecourse epidemiology and family health services research; and implications for clinical and public health practice, policy, and health system development with an eye towards development of effective and sustainable life course interventions.
Prerequisites: EPI 304

EPI 404 Methods in Epidemiology I 3 Credits

EPI 450 Special Topics in Epidemiology 3 Credits

Repeat Status: Course may be repeated.

Health Innovation & Technology Courses

HIT 010 Seminar: Design Thinking for Innovation in Health 1 Credit

Design Thinking is a human centered design process used to identify problems and create actionable solutions. Students will be exposed to the process, and attitudes needed, to frame and reframe problems, challenge assumptions, access their creativity, and tell compelling stories to communicate their ideas. The emphasis is on learning by doing and focuses on practicing the 5 steps in Design Thinking: Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype, Test that can be applied to virtually any area where new solutions are needed.

Population Health Courses

POPH 001 Introduction to Population Health 4 Credits

Despite significant advances in medicine and public health, inequities in health persist. Understanding health on a population level is an approach that seeks to improve the health of the whole population, unravel variations in health outcomes, and to identify effective strategies for reducing or eliminating inequities. The purpose of this course is to provide students with an understanding of: 1) how population health defined and measured; and 2) the determinants of population health (from cell to society).

POPH 002 Population Health Research Methods & Application 4 Credits

This course provides students with fundamental principles of research methods relevant to population health and the translation of research into practice. Through this course, we will review a range of study designs, including experimental and observational studies, mixed methods, and comparative qualitative case study methods. In addition, students will obtain the skills needed to translate research into practice for multiple stakeholder groups.
Prerequisites: POPH 001

POPH 010 Seminar: Population Health 1 Credit

This one-credit special topics seminar will focus on the development of Population Health relevant skills in the areas of communication, professional development, mentorship and leadership, proposal development, policy and advocacy and community engagement and coalitions.
Repeat Status: Course may be repeated.

POPH 012 Seminar: Ethics in Population Health 1 Credit

This course will introduce students to ethical concepts and critical issues pertaining to the ethical inclusion of human subjects in population health research. This course will provide opportunities for writing about, discussion of, and case-based learning around current and historical perspectives on population health research. During this course, students will complete the necessary training for conducting human subjects research at Lehigh University.

POPH 101 History of Population Health 3 Credits

This course introduces students to the development of population health as a convergent science. Students will learn about the evolution of population health interests, normative beliefs in service delivery, and policy at the international and domestic level. The principles, ethical values and services enforced by law will be learned. Students will explore the initiatives, collectively achieved among various sectors, addressing the determinants of health. We conclude by addressing future population health challenges, such as the environment, non-communicable diseases, and inequalities.

POPH 103 Biological Basis of Population Health 4 Credits

How do social, economic, environmental determinants bring about diseases in groups of human beings? This course will survey the methods of investigating the biological mechanisms underlying human health outcomes. Students will explore investigation of human diseases using emerging and traditional tools in genomic, molecular, immunological, and environmental fields. Students will also be expected to deepen their awareness of individual/group susceptibility, and propose societal approaches to intervention and prevention of human diseases.

POPH 105 Introduction to Maternal and Child Population Health 4 Credits

The course introduces the student to the Maternal and Child Health field. Students will examine the multi-dimensional determinants of maternal and child health issues using a Life Course approach. Students will also explore the roles of research, programs, policy, and advocacy in the reduction of maternal and child health disparities.

POPH 106 Global Environment and Human Welfare 3 Credits

This course investigates the present understanding of multiple pollution agents and their effects on human health and well-being. The students will examine the history, the emergence, the known risks from exposure to specific pollutants through multiple media (e.g. air, water, food) with a particular focus on air pollution. Through readings, discussions, and a project, students are expected to cultivate a critical understanding of the risks posed by environmental pollutants on human health and identify knowledge gaps.

POPH 120 Independent Study or Research in Population Health 1-4 Credits

This course can be directed readings or research in Population Health or an experiential learning experience that puts students's understanding of Population Health into practice. Department permission required.
Repeat Status: Course may be repeated.

POPH 130 Internship in Population Health 1-4 Credits

In this introductory course, students will engage in supervised work in Population Health. Placements will be arranged to suit individual interests and career goals. Potential internship sites include government agencies, non profit organizations and the private sector. A written report is required and preceptor evaluation will be required. Department permission required.
Repeat Status: Course may be repeated.

POPH 150 Special Topics in Population Health 3,4 Credits

In this course, students will engage in an intensive exploration of a topic of special interest that is not covered in other courses. Topics addressed will be at an intermediate level.
Repeat Status: Course may be repeated.

POPH 301 Population Health Capstone (Proposal) 4 Credits

In this writing intensive course, students will work closely with their academic advisor and site preceptor to develop a detailed proposal for a Population Health project. Department permission required.

POPH 302 Population Health Capstone (Execution) 4 Credits

In this course, students will implement and evaluate the Population Health project proposed in POPH 301. A final capstone report, oral presentation, and preceptor evaluation will be required. Department permission required.
Prerequisites: POPH 301

POPH 304 Seminar: Writing about Science 1 Credit

This one-credit special topics seminar will expose students to the planning, writing, editing and publishing stages of writing about science in various mediums, including journal articles, policy briefs, and mass media.
Repeat Status: Course may be repeated.

POPH 320 Independent Study or Research in Population Health 1-4 Credits

This course can be directed readings or research in Population Health or experiential learning that puts the student's understanding of Population Health into practice. Department permission required.
Repeat Status: Course may be repeated.

POPH 330 Internship in Population Health 1-4 Credits

In this advanced course, students will engage in supervised work in Population Health . Placements will be arranged to suit individual interests and career goals. Potential internship sites include government agencies, non profit organizations, and the private sector. A written report is required and preceptor evaluation will be required. Department permission required.
Repeat Status: Course may be repeated.

POPH 350 Special Topics in Population Health 3,4 Credits

In this course, students will engage in an intensive exploration of a topic of special interest that is not covered in other courses. Topics addressed will be at an advanced level.
Repeat Status: Course may be repeated.

POPH 401 Population Health Concepts and Methods 3 Credits

POPH 403 Biological Basis of Population Health: Concepts and Methods 3 Credits

POPH 405 (EDUC 405) Qualitative Research Methods 3 Credits

POPH 406 Seminar: Cultural Understanding and Health 1 Credit

POPH 407 Seminar: Data-informed Policy Making 1 Credit

POPH 408 Population Health Survey Methods 3 Credits

Prerequisites: POPH 401 and (EPI 404 or EPI 304) and BSTA 402

POPH 409 Social Determinants of Population Health 3 Credits

Prerequisites: POPH 401

POPH 410 Population Health Thesis I (proposal) 1 Credit

Prerequisites: POPH 401

POPH 411 Population Health Thesis II (execution) 3 Credits

Prerequisites: POPH 410

POPH 412 Seminar: Research Ethics in Population Health 1 Credit

POPH 431 Environmental Health Sciences: Concepts and Methods 3 Credits

Public Health Courses

PUBH 401 Health Promotion and Education 3 Credits

PUBH 402 Health Services, Administration, Politics, and Policy 3 Credits

PUBH 403 Health Program Planning, Implementation, and Evaluation 3 Credits

Prerequisites: PUBH 401 and (EPI 404 or EPI 304)

PUBH 404 Seminar: Leadership and Health Practice 1 Credit

Prerequisites: PUBH 401

PUBH 410 Public Health Internship and Capstone I (proposal) 3 Credits

Prerequisites: PUBH 401

PUBH 411 Public Health Internship and Capstone II (execution) 6 Credits

Prerequisites: PUBH 410

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